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Increasing lipid screenings in children 9–11 years old at a federally qualified health center - A quality improvement project

      Abstract

      Background

      Coronary artery disease (CAD) remains the leading cause of death in the U.S. Atherosclerotic changes leading to CAD begin in early childhood. Universal lipid screenings remain low nationwide despite the 2011 National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's (NHLBI) Expert Panel Guidelines.

      Local problem

      The aim of this quality improvement project was to examine the benefit of an educational intervention on the implementation of universal lipid screening guidelines within a federally qualified health center tasked with providing care to a high-risk population.

      Intervention

      An educational intervention was offered detailing the 2011 NHLBI guidelines. A total of seven medical providers participated in the intervention.

      Method

      Following the intervention, a pre- and post- knowledge survey was given to assess improvement in knowledge. A retrospective chart review was performed to evaluate application to practice.

      Results

      The number of lipid screenings improved from 7.8% (n = 384) pre-intervention to 39.2% (n = 74) post intervention. There was a statistically significant increase in screenings post-intervention t (456) = 7.842, p = .000, two-tailed).

      Conclusion

      More studies are needed to adequately identify the impact of universal screening guidelines on the health of both children and adults alike.

      Practice implications

      Universal lipid screenings remain promising in early identification of CAD in the pediatric population. Interventions related to expanding the knowledge of healthcare providers, patients, and families are key to decreasing CAD morbidity and mortality.

      Keywords

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